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Research & Studio Production-Part 4

For my final blog post of the semester I wanted to show some of my final and most exciting steps to my capstone process and research.

Pattern Drafting

I started by putting draping tape on my personal size 10 dress form. Based on my concept drawings and my experience with trying on dresses at the boutique, I found this design that I created to best fit me and what I feel is individually me.

Because I want my dress to be evenly symmetrical on both sides, I only put draping tape on one side as it will create the other half when I'm creating the pattern pieces. I had to measure myself and figure out the best placement for the draping tape. Below are the images of my dress form covered in draping tape based on my final concept drawing.

1.1 & 1.2 Final concept drawing both with and without sleeves. I would love to produce a gown that has removable sleeves and hope to start producing that in the new year.

1.3 - 1.6 Based off of my final design, I put draping tape on my dress form to create the pattern pieces I'd need to start constructing my design.

Next, I went straight to work by pinning the cotton muslin and laying it flat onto my dress form, molding it to my taped-out pattern. I decided to watch a quick tutorial on YouTube which helped jumpstart my pattern-making. To create each piece, I pinned down the cotton muslin to the dress form and then traced out the black lines-leaving some fabric on the edges for seam allowance that I would calculate later. Below is a slideshow of my process of pattern making and creating all my pieces.

1.7-2.5 Constructing my pattern pieces based off my pattern tape.

Once, I had created all my necessary pattern pieces, I started transferring those pattern pieces onto paper. I did find it slightly difficult to make sure my pattern pieces were what they needed to be but I used a french curve to correct any sloppy line work. Once I finished transferring my pattern pieces to paper, I needed to trace and cut a full pattern set to start sewing. At this point I hadn't created a godet yet (the triangular piece that usually sits in the middle of a train to complete it) for my gown but that came once I started sewing my first sample gown together. In the photos below, I'm working with my full pattern pieces and show an atrial layout of my work.

2.6-2.8 Finishing stencilling my paper pattern and cutting pieces out to start my sample gown with.

Sewing Gown Sample

The next thing I needed to do was sew together my cotton muslin pattern pieces to create my sample dress. I started with the top and then the skirt. The one thing I hadn't done yet was create godet's for the sides and the back of the dress.

*A godet is a triangular insert that is sewn between two pieces of fabric. It can help create stability or more surface for a garment. Dresses with trains are usually references with having godet's.*

I ended up waiting to attach the top and bottom together, as I needed to adjust a few things first, like letting the skirt of a bit, I then went into the studio and adjusted the pattern pieces as needed.

2.9-3.1 Having completed only sections of my gown sample, I started forming the godets and taking note of future adjustments

After sewing part of my sample gown together, I needed to change anything in my design that didn't fit, or needed adjustments. I ended up getting a lot of inspiration and pattern design instruction from a YouTuber under the name "Amanda Nicole". Her work was very informative and was a great step-by-step instruction guide to follow. Of course, I also used "The Pattern Making Primer", and a newer book I fell across called, "Draping, for Fashion Design", which has made a huge difference in how I look at design and fashion.

3.2 Recreating my pattern pieces with the adjustments for my next gown sample.

3.3 3.4 3.5

3.3 The Pattern Making Primer

3.4 Draping, for Fashion Design

3.5 Dressmaking: The Indispensable Guide

Once I made my edits, I went back to sewing the full dress together. It has a bit of difficulty lining the skirt up with the top's notches, but I quickly dealt with measurement adjustments and have solved that problem for next time. One thing I want to wait on is adding the lining. I wanted to try and get my first sample gown finished to see if any major adjustments needed to be made. I'll add a lining when I have my pattern pieces better aligned. This also includes the train of the dress, which has the most alignment issues. Below is my first finished sample gown created out of muslin with an added 55cm invisible zipper.

3.6-3.8 My first sample gown.

Surface Designs

One of the final things I started producing was the surface design pattern that was going to evolve into my final pattern on the wedding dress. I will say, out of everything I had to do, I'm still worried that I won't be able to fully create what I hope too! I want to create something timeless and contemporary and I'm a bit nervous that I won't create the surface design that I envision in my head. But, I need to keep moving forward!

The first thing I wanted to do was start drawing larger images of my final concept drawing and work out what imagery would be on each panel.

3.9-4.1 Drawing out my gown to figure out imagery placement.

I also needed to start sketching out imagery that would possibly work from the list of creatures and botanicals I had created in my previous blog post shown below:

So I started roughly sketching images that I felt related to my work in some way.

4.2- A time lapse of my sketch work process.

Currently, I am working on trying to roughly sketch out a final design for each panel. I enjoy the look of symmetrical designs and might create symmetrical imagery that mirrors each other on each panel. I'm still deciding on what I'd like to do, but I've traced out the panel sizes and will start to work on those next.

4.3-4.4 These are a couple examples of my sketch work, both my abstract line work and my detailed work.

I look forward to seeing how this project develops coming into the second half of my capstone thesis project. I'll be continuing to build up my surface design and creating this gown to the best of my ability.

Next semester I'll be working on:

-Creating a few more sample gowns for testing and investigations

-Finalizing my surface design to be shot onto screens

-Prepping screens to be shot for screen printing production

-Screen printing my final surface designs onto my final dress fabric

As Always,


Works Cited

-Nicole, A. (2019, July 8). DIY wedding dress | Lets make a wedding dress. YouTube.

Fig. 3.3- Barnfield, J., Richards, A. (2012). The Pattern Making Primer. Quarto Publishing. London, United Kingdom.

Fig. 3.4- Jaffe, H., Relis, N. (2005). Draping for Fashion Design (Fourth Edition). Pearson Prentice Hall Publishing. Upper saddle River, New Jersey,USA.

Fig. 3.5- Fallon, J. (2017). Dressmaking: The Indispensable Guide. A Firefly Book: Quarto. Buffalo, New York, USA.

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